Are they seriously going to do this again?
Alas, the Connecticut Department of Health is determined to repeat one of the gravest mistakes of the COVID-19 dilemma.
The latest DPH guidance asks nursing homes to accept discharged patients, regardless of COVID-19 status.
Until Thursday, the health department required any patient transferred from a hospital to a long-term care facility to have a negative COVID test within 48 hours.
However, the health department waived the requirement in a two-page memo.
BREAKING: Connecticut Department of Health to force nursing homes to accept Covid patients from hospitals, even as 'the number of residents contracting the virus has more than doubled" since Christmas.https://t.co/q6lGR2gDjL
— The HighWire (@HighWireTalk) January 7, 2022
Nursing homes will have to accept COVID-positive admissions from hospitals, according to a new requirement from the Connecticut Department of Public Health https://t.co/czoBnjcXMe
— Hartford Courant (@hartfordcourant) January 6, 2022
Connecticut Will Send COVID Patients to Nursing Homes Despite Previous Orders Killing 50,000 Elderly People https://t.co/ahXLsIryXs
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) January 7, 2022
As stated by the Connecticut Department of Health:
Hospitalized patients should be discharged from acute care whenever clinically indicated, regardless of COVID-19 status.
- Meeting criteria for discontinuation of isolation precautions (also known as transmission-based precautions) is not a prerequisite for discharge from a hospital. PAC providers should be equipped to safely care for individuals with active COVID-19 who are ready for discharge from acute care.
- Vaccination status of an individual should not influence decisions about hospital discharge or PAC admission.
- Discharge should not be held due to a pending SARS-CoV-2 test, as receiving PAC providers should now have quarantine policies in place based on COVID-19 vaccination status.
- If testing is requested before transfer, no more than a single test for SARS-CoV-2 infection within 48 hours of transfer to PAC should be required for admission to the PAC setting. Any type of diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 test available should be acceptable.
Any SNF unable to care for individuals admitted with COVID-19 infection should report reasons for their inability to do so via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hartford Courant reported:
“Vaccination status of an individual should not influence decisions about hospital discharge or PAC admission,” according to the DPH.
The guidance puts significant pressure on nursing homes that are already facing severe staffing challenges and testing limitations, providers said.
“Hospitalized patients should be discharged from acute care whenever clinically indicated, regardless of COVID-19 status,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani wrote in the two-page memo.
“Discharge should not be held due to a pending SARS-CoV-2 test, as receiving PAC (post-acute care) providers should now have quarantine policies in place based on COVID-19 vaccination status,” Juthani wrote. “PAC providers should be equipped to safely care for individuals with active COVID-19 who are ready for discharge from acute care.”
Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, said nursing homes should still be able to decide whether to accept COVID-positive people from hospitals under the guidance.
“Our initial reading based on the memo released today is that nothing in the memo undermines the nursing home’s appropriate authority to refuse an admission due to their ability to meet the care needs of the resident because of staffing shortages, and COVID status may be a factor in that assessment,” Barrett said.
If a nursing home were to refuse a COVID-positive person, the hospital would be responsible for finding another place that would accept them, said Max Reiss, spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont.
LifeNews referenced the catastrophic damage of past initiatives to send COVID-positive patients into nursing homes with vulnerable residents:
The state will issue the order despite Democrat governors in multiple states like New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey forcing nursing homes early in the COVID pandemic to take COVID patients — decisions that resulted in as many as 50,000 elderly people dying as COVID spread in their facilities.
The spread of COVID in nursing homes in New York was so bad after Andrew Cuomo issued his order that 15,000 or more nursing home residents died, a number that he covered up and that some officials believe is higher.
Connecticut will ask nursing homes take COVID patients regardless of their status, meaning COVID-positive patients will be sent to the facilities with at-risk residents.